The Motels


Again I feel tired and kind of lonely since talking with my sister on the phone. Sometimes we just don’t agree on much at all, and it wears me down. I had a different father from my siblings, which puts me on an island all by myself.

Quarter of three.

I was feeling low, so I needed to distract myself by doing something different. I played the bass for a bit and found myself picking out an old song by The Motels called “Only the Lonely.” I used harmonics for the synth chords, just simple diatonic fourths, and the bass line was easy enough. Presently I felt sad and pensive, remembering my mother’s own loneliness and need of a friend. When I was 16 I vowed to myself that I would be kind to Mom and be her buddy. The video by The Motels was often on MTV that autumn, causing me to stop and think, though a teenager’s thoughts are mostly nonverbal. At least mine were. And the emotions I felt were pain and pity even though the song was a little lugubrious.


Elegy of Autumn

Sometimes it seems that life is cheap, or maybe people don’t want to talk about it. It’s said that some people with my illness don’t live to be 60 years old. In some degree it is in my hands, though ultimately it’s in the lap of the gods. (Now I’ve got that song in my head.) All you can really know are the changes, yet there’s so much we want to repeat out of a desire for comfort. People crave permanence, and that’s why the invention of heaven was successful. We dread the loss of what we love. Life is one of the things people love. Beyond life you simply don’t know.

I just read a cool story by Hoffmann that involved things like the alter ego and losing your shadow or reflection to the devil. The introduction to the book is informative and very well done and goes into the doppelgänger idea somewhat. It’s one of those wonderful Dover editions I love so much… I’ve been sleeping poorly for a long time. I’ve noticed a change in my breathing when I try to sleep at night. Maybe it’s the Vraylar; and overall I feel kind of like a resuscitated corpse: death warmed over. A man whose soul is stolen, left to wander the underworld in quest of it. Kiss innocence goodbye.

Or perhaps it was just a bad day for me. There’s always tomorrow and the difference of a day.

We can forget the past, but the past doesn’t forget us.

Saturday for Wednesday’s Child

Eight thirty.

It all makes sense now.

I’m kind of nervous about this morning because Gloria is bringing a friend with her today. It does no good to try to imagine the future. I’m not a psychic; I doubt if anyone is. Pastor Dan sent out an email to everyone to urge us to come to church Sunday. It sounds like he’s rather desperate. I’m still not going back.

Ten thirty.

Gloria’s friend is named Laura. It went okay: we went to Carl’s Jr. after Gloria vacuumed the floors. I heard that the Ducks have a game today but I don’t know if it’s a home game or away… I looked it up. It’s here, and kickoff is at 12:30. We’re playing BYU. I actually miss being a fan of Duck football, back when my parents and my best friend were alive. The rest of my family roots for the Beavers but the UO is my alma mater. I think I’m the only one of my relatives left who attended Oregon… Today I’m in a mood of deep pathos. It’s a difficult thing to control, and something you can’t just stick a bandaid on… Now Aesop will be in a funk because of the visitors this morning. That makes two of us in a bad mood. I might as well pop the plastic on the new books that came yesterday to commemorate my birthday of sobriety. The weather is good for the squirrels to play around together, leaping from tree to rooftop and making a patter with their feet. If life were only that simple for human beings. I still ponder the question about happiness and stupidity versus melancholy and wisdom. I can’t draw a conclusion which is the better way. 


Seven o’clock.

Daylight comes to an overcast morning. I walked to the market an hour ago with the music of Gustav Holst in my ear, from The Planets. It was pitch dark, but well lighted by artificial means. Several times I paused and looked around me. But my mind was really on things years in the past, though similar to the present time. I’m getting onto the spirit of the age, whether others agree with it or not. The newbie at the store, Lisa, wore a triangular Celtic pendant that I mistook for AA. She told me she used to get into Wicca and she distrusted organized religion, etc. I listened to her and said good for you, then turned to go out the door.

The Saturn piece by Holst reminds me of buying King Voltaire dog biscuits for my pug in his old age; sometimes I bought Beggar Dog if I was at the convenience store. There’s probably a reason why this music haunts me lately. I see Aesop getting mellower as he ages, so I just hope for a few more good years together. I remember when he was a puppy and would lick my ear off when we retired to bed, and I’d be breathing alcoholic fumes. Aesop forgave everything. There were times when he was my only family; indeed, my only friend. Meanwhile the sun keeps climbing behind the clouds and never stops chasing its own tail.

The blonde assassin passes on,

The sun proceeds unmoved,

To measure off another day

For an approving God. 

Predawn Blues

Five twenty five.

The opossum under the house is making a big ruckus. He will quiet down after sunup. Aesop just jumped off the bed and came down the hall to be with me. “And the animals I’ve trapped have all become my pets / Something in the way…” I didn’t have any plans for today except my daily shopping trip. My sleeping cycle is erratic yet it’s been the same way for four years now. I’ll do four hours here and another four hours there, in windows of time. Maybe it was the word “windows” that reminded me of a painting by Winslow Homer used to illustrate Huckleberry Finn. This image just popped up to my mind. It shows two boys eating watermelon outdoors. I guess I’m still rather sleepy. Another thought is how judgmental my brother used to be of me; but people with problems tend to be the most zealous accusers of others. He must have a guilty conscience the size of a house from having lied and cheated his way through life.

I might go back to bed because it’s dark outside and nobody is awake right now, technically not even me. There are many kinds of self referential absurdity, pointed out to us by the Bible and by Shakespeare. The phrase, “the pot calling the kettle black” is from Don Quixote. My own conscience is cumbersome today, but the problems I have are not my fault. Maybe it’s possible to exculpate everyone with a mental health diagnosis. In that case, church ministers would be out of a job as well as some kinds of counselors. Why do we even have ethics in everyday life? In his state of melancholy, Hamlet says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And it’s still another hour until daylight… 

Wotan’s Moods

Quarter of noon. The sun wants to come out. Now I reflect on the cyber friendship I had with Kate in the past ten years. I did all that on a Dell desktop computer, but today I can’t stand Windows operating systems. I only succeeded in being intimate with a machine that used me as much as I used it. And mixed up with the whole scenario was big time alcohol abuse, so truly there was nothing substantial about my daily life. I floated a mile high all the time. The saying used to go, “Kill your tv.” Now it ought to be, “Trash your computer.” When I had an office job, one of our computer consultants was a strung out tweaker, and my boss had a lot of problems. I think I regret the years I spent working with office machines. Maybe I’m on the fence about that. Sometimes on Friday nights I would get plastered and listen to The Police with my computer’s visualization app, tripping out to “Tea in the Sahara” or “Walking on the Moon.” It was a complete waste of time, but I guess I was very lonely and unhappy.

Quarter of one. Rebecca will be calling me very soon. I’m in a rather cynical mood today. It’s no wonder, after hearing that my identity was stolen.

Two thirty. Now it’s trying to rain, which would be fine with me. A UPS truck was just here but I didn’t get my package. On a day like today, a half case of a good beer could really hit the spot. However, drinking beer is not something that worthy people do. I feel a vague longing for something or someone, while an old song by Pat Metheny, “Fallen Star,” caresses my mind. I have DDA group tomorrow at one o’clock, so I can anticipate that. It’s true that alcohol is a depressant, but it also triggers endorphins and makes you feel good… Or anyway, it used to be a wonderful feeling to get a buzz on a tasty beer. But behavior becomes unpredictable when you drink. That’s why the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, was capable of being so brutal as well as amorous. Yet why should a person suppose that a state of drunkenness is somehow truer than sobriety? And for this reason, perhaps the tradition of the old Greeks may be set aside…

Three forty. It’s been a different kind of day. The quality of the green daylight appears somehow unusual, and it kind of soothes my nerves. The air inside the house ought to be cleaner since I replaced the furnace filter yesterday. I could almost go for some strawberry cheesecake ice cream from the little market.